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Helicopter crash victims remembered

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A family representative lights a candle commemorating for one of the ten victims who lost their lives in the Clutha helicopter crash, during a service of remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

A family representative lights a candle commemorating for one of the ten victims who lost their lives in the Clutha helicopter crash, during a service of remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

PA

A family representative lights a candle commemorating for one of the ten victims who lost their lives in the Clutha helicopter crash, during a service of remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

Dignitaries, friends and family of those killed in the Clutha helicopter crash have gathered at Glasgow Cathedral, one year on from the tragedy.

Ten people died and many more were injured when the police helicopter, a Eurocopter EC135, crashed on to the roof of the Clutha pub on November 29 last year.

Hundreds of people have packed into pews for this afternoon's ecumenical service.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led the congregation in prayer while Bernard Higgins, Assistant Chief Constable of Police Scotland, shared a reading from the book of Revelation.

Audience members stood as one, as members of the mourning families lit candles in memory of their loved ones.

Some of those in attendance could be seen dabbing their eyes as the vigil drew to a close around 4pm.

Delivering the ceremony's sermon, the Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia said the night tragedy struck at the bar began like any other Friday evening.

Ska band Esperanza was playing and more than 100 people had packed into the popular Stockwell Street venue to see them perform.

Then, about 10.25pm, disaster struck. The Police Scotland helicopter which had been flying overhead dropped like a stone through the single-storey building below after both engines failed.

Pilot David Traill and his passengers, police officers Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins, lost their lives.

Those killed in the pub were John McGarrigle, Mark O'Prey, Gary Arthur, Colin Gibson, Robert Jenkins and Samuel McGhee. Some 32 people were taken initially to hospitals across the city.

Joe Cusker was pulled from the wreckage alive but later died in hospital.

"They have never been forgotten, especially not by those who love them most and who miss them most sorely," Archbishop Tartaglia said.

"I can never pass by the Clutha Vaults without remembering them and recalling what happened, and whispering a 'Hail Mary' for the dead, injured and bereaved."

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A woman lays flowers at the Clutha pub in Glasgow, Scotland, as a service is held in at Glasgow Cathedral marking the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that caused that caused the death of ten people. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

A woman lays flowers at the Clutha pub in Glasgow, Scotland, as a service is held in at Glasgow Cathedral marking the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that caused that caused the death of ten people. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

PA

A message on a floral tribute at the Clutha pub in Glasgow, Scotland, as a service is held in at Glasgow Cathedral marking the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that caused that caused the death of ten people. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

A message on a floral tribute at the Clutha pub in Glasgow, Scotland, as a service is held in at Glasgow Cathedral marking the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that caused that caused the death of ten people. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

PA

The wreckage of the police Eurocopter being lifted from the Clutha Vaults in Glasgow as experts are examining the helicopter which crashed into the crowded bar, killing 10 people

The wreckage of the police Eurocopter being lifted from the Clutha Vaults in Glasgow as experts are examining the helicopter which crashed into the crowded bar, killing 10 people

PA

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A woman lays flowers at the Clutha pub in Glasgow, Scotland, as a service is held in at Glasgow Cathedral marking the first anniversary of the helicopter crash that caused that caused the death of ten people. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

The solemn churchman spoke of how the tragedy had drawn his homeland together.

"Out of this tragedy we are called to be better, more compassionate, more understanding human beings," Archbishop Tartaglia said.

"And I would hope that we could turn that memory into a legacy, a legacy which would honour the victims of the Clutha Vaults tragedy, so that we can say once and for all that their deaths contributed to Glasgow and Scotland becoming a better place for everyone."

He called for his countrymen to honour the Clutha victims' memory by making Scotland "a place where we can all freely give what we are best at giving, according to the law and with respect for everyone's legitimate liberties, without fear and without the suspicion that we do not belong or that we are not welcome."

"There is a feeling around that we are in a special moment when we can shape a new Scotland," the Archbishop added.

"In our country, no one should feel less Scots because of any part of their identity, personal, cultural or religious. We are all equal in Scotland, all welcomed, all valued, and above all, all free to express our views and follow our consciences.

"This, I suggest, would be a Scotland which would make St Andrew applaud, would make the Clutha Vaults victims smile with pride and would make us all happy."

Online Editors